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Measuring dementia carers' unmet need for services - an exploratory mixed method study
Christine Stirling, Sharon Andrews, Toby Croft, James Vickers, Paul Turner, Andrew Robinson
BMC Health Services Research , 2010, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-10-122
Abstract: This mixed method exploratory study compared measures of carer burden with community services received and unmet needs, for 20 community-dwelling carer/care-recipient pairs.A simple one-item measure of carers' felt need for more services was significantly related to carer stress as measured on the GHQ-30. Qualitative data showed that there are many potential stressors for carers, other than those related to the care-giving role. We found a statistically significant rank correlation (p = 0.01) between carer's use of in-home respite and the care-recipient's cognitive and functional status which is likely to have been related to increased requirement for carer vigilance, effort and the isolation of spouse carers. Otherwise, there were no statistically significant relationships between carer burden or stress and level of service provision.When carers are stressed or depressed, they can recognise that they would like more help from services, even if measures of carer burden and care recipient status do not clearly indicate unmet service needs. A question designed to elicit carer' felt need may be a better indicator of service need, and a red flag for recognising growing stress in carers of people with dementia. Assessment of service needs should recognise the fallibility of carer burden measures, given that carer stress may not only come from caring for someone with dementia, but can be significantly compounded by other life situations.Assessment and monitoring of caregiver (carer) burden are increasingly seen as essential factors in ensuring that carers receive community support [1], but the outcomes of this approach are uncertain. While meeting carer service needs has been the subject of increased policy and research interest, Bradshaw's [2] taxonomy of need has not been utilised in this context. Intervention studies often show non significant findings, and researchers increasingly question the usefulness of existing measures of carer burden [3,4]. It follows then that
A qualitative study of professional and client perspectives on information flows and decision aid use
Christine Stirling, Barbara Lloyd, Jenn Scott, Jenny Abbey, Toby Croft, Andrew Robinson
BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1472-6947-12-26
Abstract: A secondary analysis was undertaken of qualitative data collected as part of a larger study. The data included twelve interviews with carers of people with dementia, three interviews with expert advisors, and three focus groups with health professionals. A theoretical analysis was conducted, drawing on theories of 'positioning' and professional identity.Health professionals are seen to hold varying attitudes and beliefs about carers' decision support needs, and these appeared to be grounded in the professional identity of each group. These attitudes and beliefs shaped their attitudes towards decision aids, the information they believed should be offered to dementia carers, and the timing of its offering. Some groups understood carers as needing to be protected from realistic information and consequently saw a need to filter information to carer clients.Health professionals' beliefs may cause them to restrict information flows, which can limit carers' ability to make decisions, and limit health services' ability to improve partnering and shared decision making. In an era where information is freely available to those with the resources to access it, we question whether health professionals should filter information.Shared decision making between health professionals and clients is now recognized as an imperative for improving primary health care outcomes [1]. Decision support needs and factors facilitating decision partnerships are, however, complex and contextual and it is increasingly clear we need to better understand this complexity [2-6]. Decision aids (DAs) are known to help individuals to make health care choices in complex situations, and when outcomes may be indeterminate or dependent on values and beliefs [7]. However, many research questions remain to be answered as to how DAs work in different settings, and in particular what influence diverse professional cultures might exert on the success or otherwise of decision aids targeting health service consumers
Calibration of Nondestructive Assay Instruments: An Application of Linear Regression and Propagation of Variance  [PDF]
Stephen Croft, Tom Burr
Applied Mathematics (AM) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/am.2014.55075

Several nondestructive assay (NDA) methods to quantify special nuclear materials use calibration curves that are linear in the predictor, either directly or as an intermediate step. The linear response model is also often used to illustrate the fundamentals of calibration, and is the usual detector behavior assumed when evaluating detection limits. It is therefore important for the NDA community to have a common understanding of how to implement a linear calibration according to the common method of least squares and how to assess uncertainty in inferred nuclear quantities during the prediction stage following calibration. Therefore, this paper illustrates regression, residual diagnostics, effect of estimation errors in estimated variances used for weighted least squares, and variance propagation in a form suitable for implementation. Before the calibration can be used, a transformation of axes is required; this step, along with variance propagation is not currently explained in available NDA standard guidelines. The role of systematic and random uncertainty is illustrated and expands on that given previously for the chosen practical NDA example. A listing of open-source software is provided in the Appendix.

Tale of a T-shirt
Susan Croft
University of Toronto Medical Journal , 2010, DOI: 10.5015/utmj.v87i3.1268
Abstract: Originally published in Ars Medica.
For Bruce Bennett
Julian Croft
Coolabah , 2012,
Recovery of the mass power spectrum from the Lyman-alpha forest: The effect of ionizing background fluctuations from discrete QSO sources
Rupert Croft
Physics , 1997,
Abstract: In gravitational instability models, there is a close relationship between most Lyman-alpha absorption and the matter density along the line of sight. Croft et al. (1997) have shown that it is possible to use this relationship with some additional assumptions (such as Gaussianity of the initial density) to recover the power spectrum of mass fluctuations, P(k), from QSO absorption spectra. The relative uniformity of the ionizing radiation background on the scales of interest is an additional assumption required by the technique. Here we examine the fluctuations in Lyman-alpha spectra caused if the ionizing background radiation is generated by discrete QSO sources. We present our results alongside the preliminary application of the P(k) recovery technique to the QSO Q1422+231. We find the ionizing background fluctuations to have an effect orders of magnitude smaller than the matter fluctuations at the scales on which we measure P(k) (lambda < 10 h^-1Mpc).
An Overview of the "Triangle Method" for Estimating Surface Evapotranspiration and Soil Moisture from Satellite Imagery
Toby Carlson
Sensors , 2007, DOI: 10.3390/s7081612
Abstract: An overview of the ‘triangle’ method for estimating soil surface wetness and evapotranspiration fraction from satellite imagery is presented here. The method is insensitive to initial atmospheric and surface conditions, net radiation and atmospheric correction, yet can yield accuracies comparable to other methods. We describe the method first from the standpoint of the how the triangle is observed as obtained from aircraft and satellite image data and then show how the triangle can be created from a land surface model. By superimposing the model triangle over the observed one, pixel values from the image are determined for all points within the triangle. We further show how the stretched (or ‘universal’) triangle can be used to interpret pixel configurations within the triangle, showing how the temporal trajectories of points uniquely describe patterns of land use change. Finally, we conclude the paper with a brief assessment of the method’s limitations.
La nueva derecha de los estudios culturales - Las industrias creativas
Tabula Rasa , 2011,
Abstract: creative-industries discourse represents the most interesting and productive response to a crisis of relevance for the humanities and the emergence of a knowledge society. its impact has been felt across the world, not least in the hitherto-progressive field of cultural studies, where we see a new right emerging as part of the push to renovate the university.
La nueva derecha de los estudios culturales -las industrias creativas
Toby Miller
Tabula Rasa , 2011,
Abstract: El discurso de las industrias creativas representa la respuesta más interesante y productiva a una crisis de relevancia para las humanidades y el surgimiento de una sociedad del conocimiento. Su impacto se ha experimentado por todo el mundo, no menos en el hasta ahora progresivo campo de los estudios culturales, donde asistimos a la emergencia de una Nueva Derecha como parte del impulso por renovar la universidad.
Book Review: Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies
Toby Fyfe
Global Media Journal : Canadian Edition , 2009,
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